The Boat Race is a famous rowing competition between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club happening every year close to Easter. Men's and women's open-weight teams of eight meet on the River Thames. The competition is often called the University Boat Race and the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. The race was held for the first time in 1829. It has become regular since 1856 except for two World Wars. In 1927 the women's race was included in the competition.
The Boat Race course stretches for 4.2 mi (6.8 km) in south-west London, from Putney to Mortlake. It hasn't been changed since 1845. Participants row upstream, but the race is timed to start on the incoming tide. Cambridge team traditionally wears light blue uniforms while Oxford—dark blue. Every year over 250,000 people watch The Boat Race from the banks of the Thames. Fifteen million watch it on TV.
The Boat Race was started in 1829 by a student at St John's College in Cambridge Charles Merivale and his friend Charles Wordsworth who was studying at Christ Church in Oxford. The University of Cambridge challenged the University of Oxford to their first race at Henley-on-Thames but couldn't win.